Eek! Swamped tank/bacterial Bloom and molters

Please post here if you are having a crab care emergency! Use a real subject and not just "HELP!"
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Topic author
ejnolen
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:16 pm

Eek! Swamped tank/bacterial Bloom and molters

Post by ejnolen » Wed May 29, 2019 8:40 pm

Since you've come to the emergency forum, we know you want a fast answer to your question. In order for us to figure out the problem as quickly as possible, we ask that you answer the following questions as best you can. Some of them may seem odd, but they're all designed to give us the information we need to give you a good solution for your problem. The things in the [ brackets ] are there to make this post easier to read once submitted. Thanks!


1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?
6-8 inches ecoearth

2. Do you have gauges in the tank to measure temperature and humidity? If so, where are they located and what temperature and humidity do they usually read?
Gauges are near the top left corner. 80-90% humidity (thanks, southern summer) and 82°F

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?
Uth on back side of tank

4. What types of water are available (fresh or salt) and how is the water treated (what brands of dechlorinator or salt mix and what ratio is used to mix it)?
Fresh with Tetra AquaSafe and salt with ALT soaking salt

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?
Mixture of insects, oak leaves, veggies, honey, and calcium.

6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?
1 E (9m) and 1PP (2m)

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?
Both crabs are down. The E for nearly two months (concerned it's dead) and the PP for just two weeks


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?
10gal glass aquarium, mesh lid with foil and Saran wrapped styrofoam lid over that. And foil wrapped styrofoam insulation on back and one side to maintain temp.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?
2 crabs largest about overall size of a slightly squashed pingpong ball, the smallest not much bigger than a quarter.

10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?
About 10 in varying sizes all within 1/8-1/2" larger than the crab's current shell opening.

11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?
No

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?
Surface debris removal every morning. Deep clean about 4 months ago.

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?
No

14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?
No

15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crab care, playtime, bathing, etc.)?
No

16. Please describe the emergency situation in detail.
Tank is swampy! Standing water in bottom at least 2 inches. All substrate feels soaked. And as soon as I started digging, whew! The stench! Like rotten eggs. I thought the bottom was dry, because it was much lighter than the top two inches or so. Nope. That "dry" look was actually a lack of air pockets in the soil because it was full of water! I've removed the water dishes for tonight and have the lid propped open for maximum air flow. I removed all the substrate from underneath both water dishes all the way to the bottom and dipped out as much water as I could. I estimate there's probably still at least 1/4" of standing water remaining, and I anticipate more will seep down from the supersoaked substrate overnight. I'd simply start over with new substrate, but both my crabs are down and I've only a small idea of where they are in the tank. Should I dig them up, or just remove as much water as I can/sun dry the substrate and fill my giant holes back in? The smell, btw is not nearly as strong now that a good majority of the water is gone. I estimate I removed nearly a gallon! Gah!

.
Momma to 2 wild preschoolers, Mattie (5) and Ethan (2) and 2 crabs, Leah (PP) and Kenna (E). RIP Herma and Herma 2.0 (Es).

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Oliviet#1
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Re: Eek! Swamped tank/bacterial Bloom and molters

Post by Oliviet#1 » Wed May 29, 2019 9:48 pm

Oh no! I thought most of what you had was good except for the deep cleaning and water conditioner or salt. I don’t seem to know the brand or products but I would recommend aqueon tap water solution or prime as a water conditioner and instant ocean marine salt. You should probably dig them up so the bacterial bloom doesn’t injure or hurt them severely. You might also want to replace all or the sand that isn’t in or by the bacterial bloom. You should isolate your crabs and hopefully they are ok. Let us know what happens and I hope it goes well!
I have had pets in the past, but my family can’t have any furry or feathered ones due to allergies. I usually try my best to help and currently trying to set up a crabitat. I also try to treat others with Love!❤️

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curlysister
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Re: Eek! Swamped tank/bacterial Bloom and molters

Post by curlysister » Wed May 29, 2019 10:38 pm

In my opinion, you need to dig your crabs up. There are only a very small number of reasons why a crab should be dug up - flooding and bacterial blooms. I have never had the latter, but did dig up my one molting crab when there was a flood. Thankfully she was still alive, and I hope yours are too. Be very gentle and remove a little substrate at a time. Your crabs will need to be isolated from each other when you find them, if they are alive.
I agree with the dechlorinator and marine salt suggestion. And that deep cleaning is seldom needed, except for something like a bacterial bloom.
I hope that another crabber with experience in such matters will chime in!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers

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wodesorel
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Re: Eek! Swamped tank/bacterial Bloom and molters

Post by wodesorel » Wed May 29, 2019 10:58 pm

You should dig, this is the only time when it's an emergency. The crabs will drown if too far down into the water, and that smell is from bacteria growth which can also gas out the crabs and kill them. Get them out to safety and toss all the affected substrate!


Topic author
ejnolen
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:16 pm

Re: Eek! Swamped tank/bacterial Bloom and molters

Post by ejnolen » Thu May 30, 2019 6:55 am

To clarify the deep clean... I had an ant infestation. Had to dig up a molter, toss all substrate, and start over. Otherwise, I only surface clean.

Thanks for the help y'all!
Momma to 2 wild preschoolers, Mattie (5) and Ethan (2) and 2 crabs, Leah (PP) and Kenna (E). RIP Herma and Herma 2.0 (Es).

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curlysister
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Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Eek! Swamped tank/bacterial Bloom and molters

Post by curlysister » Thu May 30, 2019 9:10 am

Keep us posted as to what you find when you dig! Good luck!
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." -Will Rogers


Topic author
ejnolen
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:16 pm

Re: Eek! Swamped tank/bacterial Bloom and molters

Post by ejnolen » Thu May 30, 2019 12:50 pm

Both crabbies are alive! Hallelujah! Leah had been down about two weeks, but not yet started her molt. Kenna was finished, but still consuming her exo. I've got them tucked away in a tiny critter carrier, separated and warm by the stove while I clean out the rest of the tank. I can't leave the house until this evening to buy new substrate. I'm thinking this time I'll mix EE with sand... You reckon if I sun dry some of my current substrate it would be safe to mix into new sand? Or should I simply start over with fresh EE and toss the old stuff?
Momma to 2 wild preschoolers, Mattie (5) and Ethan (2) and 2 crabs, Leah (PP) and Kenna (E). RIP Herma and Herma 2.0 (Es).


hyelah1990
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Re: Eek! Swamped tank/bacterial Bloom and molters

Post by hyelah1990 » Thu May 30, 2019 2:26 pm

I wouldn't take the chance. I would trash all of the stinky sub and start over.

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Oliviet#1
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Location: USA

Re: Eek! Swamped tank/bacterial Bloom and molters

Post by Oliviet#1 » Thu May 30, 2019 3:41 pm

Yay!
I have had pets in the past, but my family can’t have any furry or feathered ones due to allergies. I usually try my best to help and currently trying to set up a crabitat. I also try to treat others with Love!❤️


Topic author
ejnolen
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:16 pm

Re: Eek! Swamped tank/bacterial Bloom and molters

Post by ejnolen » Fri May 31, 2019 9:53 am

<img src="https://photos.app.goo.gl/Twj6aMJ9JiJFwmmV7"> Ok folks... Here's the new setup! We've got about a 4:2 mixture of sand and EE, with a "forest" surface of EE and oak leaves on the left with the fresh water and a sand "beach" and shell shop on the right next to the salt water. I've moved the salt water away from the UTH to hopefully avoid another flood. Wish me luck!
Last edited by ejnolen on Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Momma to 2 wild preschoolers, Mattie (5) and Ethan (2) and 2 crabs, Leah (PP) and Kenna (E). RIP Herma and Herma 2.0 (Es).

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: Eek! Swamped tank/bacterial Bloom and molters

Post by Hermiesguardian » Fri May 31, 2019 3:32 pm

Looks really nice.
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi

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